Apple admits it slows down older iPhones to prevent battery issues

For years, there have been claims - some say conspiracy theories - from iPhone users that older models slow down when new versions come out.

Now Apple is confirming that it purposely does just that - for specific reasons in some cases.

Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch that it will "smooth out" power demands on iPhones when batteries are old, in cold conditions, or when they're low on power.

The company said it added the fix last year to prevent shutdowns on iPhone 6, 6s and SE models, then added it to the iPhone 7 with plans for more devices in the future.

In other words, on iPhones that are as little as a year old, you may notice your phone slow down in some situations.

Apple says that if it didn't add this feature, those phones could shut down more often.

The admission comes after a Reddit post last week that snowballed into lots of discussion over performance of iPhones with older batteries.

Some Reddit users said that when the battery on their older iPhone was replaced, the performance issues went away and their phones started acting normal.

That post led John Poole, a developer with Geekbench, to run performance tests that backed up the claims.

While the admission from Apple does not have the sinister undertones that have come with some iPhone owners' accusations of slowing down phones to prompt sales of new models, it does confirm what many have guessed.

In its statement, Apple said, "Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices."

In the end, the issue has more to do with battery technology than iPhone technology, according to the company.